Housing market is 'stagnant' with stock at record low, surveyors say

Dwindling supplies Scarce supplies of properties coming up for sale mean estate agents are being left with an average of just 43 unsold homes on their books

Housing market is 'stagnant' with stock at record low, surveyors say

A net balance of 13% of surveyors saw drops in new property numbers.

The average number of homes for sale by each estate agent has fallen to a record low, with agents in parts of the country gloomier than at any time since the financial crash, according to a report by the surveyor's professional body.

Nationwide reported earlier this month that the rate of United Kingdom growth was now starting to ease down, though regional variations gave a mixed picture.

"For the time being, it is hard to see any major impetus for change in the market, something also being reflected in the flat trend in transaction levels".

The UK housing market "continues to lack impetus", with new buyer enquiries flat for a third successive month in March, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.

All in all, RICS' findings suggest that house prices in the United Kingdom should continue to rise, with housing becoming even more unaffordable than its current levels, something made clear by Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics in a note circulated on Thursday morning. Rics said an overall balance of 3% more surveyors saw a fall in agreed sales rather than an uplift last month. If figures from the capital are excluded from the headline figure, price growth in the United Kingdom has accelerated since December and price rises in the North West are particularly strong. Moreover, expectations for year ahead sales growth were reduced in eight of the 12 United Kingdom regions covered.

Prices in London fell sharply, however, with 49% more respondents reporting a fall rather than a rise - the most widespread decline recorded in the capital since 2009.

As the sales market remains, the lettings market has seen continued increase in tenant demand, as 11% more surveyors noted an increase rather than a fall on a non seasonally adjusted basis.

New buyer enquiries and sales remain flat.

That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the February reading.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist: "The latest results for our survey show little change in the underlying picture surrounding both sales and markets".

But he believes that the figures are unsurprising given the current state of the housing market.

The main contribution to the increase in house prices came from England, where house prices increased by 6.3 per cent in the year to February, with the average cost of a home at £234,000.

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